Category Archives: Home Buyer Tips

What You’ll Need To Get Loan Preapproval

If you’re intending to purchase a property in 2021, it’s important to note what documentation you’ll need to provide to the lender in order to get loan approval.

Many prospective buyers cringe at the thought of pulling together reams of receipts, paystubs, and W-2s. But if you start doing that now, you’ll be ready to go in the event you stumble upon that perfect condo in  South Beach. Continue Reading

Open Houses Return in San Francisco (!)

I’m happy to report that San Francisco Realtors can once again host public open houses.

Our local Realtor Association announced late last week that we can resume holding opens for the first time since March 2020. We’re required to follow Covid safety protocol that requires all entrants to review and sign an Open House and Showing Guidelines disclosure, which also requires providing basic contact information. Additionally, everyone must still wear masks, use hand sanitizer, practice social distancing and avoid touching surfaces in a property. Continue Reading

Feng Shui for San Francisco Real Estate

Feng Shui for San Francisco Real Estate

Feng shui is a guiding principle for many San Francisco home buyers. The Chinese words “feng” and “shui” translate to mean “wind” and “water,” respectively. This concept derived from an ancient poem that talks about human life being connected and flowing with the environment around it.

If you’re buying or selling a home, it’s a good idea to be aware of what elements constitute unfavorable feng shui. There are some things you can’t change that add up to bad feng shui, such as location. But there are other things that you can alter when it comes to interior design and staging. Continue Reading

Budget for HOA Dues During Loan Preapproval

You’re thinking about buying a condo in San Francisco, and the first thing on your checklist is loan preapproval. Along with mortgage payments and property taxes, your lender tells you that you need a rough idea of how much your homeowners association dues (HOA) will be. But you don’t know what you’ll be buying, so how are you supposed to know how much the dues will be? Continue Reading

What You Risk When You Waive Contingencies

The San Francisco market has come roaring back after the initial Covid slowdown in 2020. We are heading into a robust Spring, and it seems like buyers and sellers are making up for last year’s lost time.

That’s led to very competitive offer situations and high sale prices, particularly for single-family homes and condos in smaller buildings. Most multiple-offer situations end up with a handful of buyers waiving all contingencies (e.g., conditions of the sale) in order to make their offer as attractive as possible to the seller.

But do all buyers realize what’s at stake when they waive all contingencies? Sometimes I’m not so sure. Continue Reading

10 Reasons Why You Should Buy Title Insurance

One of the most expensive items on your home purchase closing statement is title insurance. If you’re getting a loan, the lender will require a policy on the loan. But you may not be required to purchase a homeowner’s policy. Should you skip it?

In a word, no. The owner’s title policy will protect you against future claims against the property. Though the title company does a search through public records prior to the closing, unexpected things can pop up. Without title insurance, you’re flying without a net. Continue Reading

Let The Stars Guide Your House Hunt

Things are looking up these days, and many home buyers who postponed purchase plans in the wake of Covid are back on track.

You may know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’d prefer, but are you solid when it comes to neighborhood preferences? There’s a lot to consider—proximity to public transportation, good Walk Scores, easy freeway access, good parks.

But make sure you don’t overlook the astrological angle when putting together your list of preferred neighborhoods. What your zodiac sign says about you could have everything to do with whether you’ll be happy in your future home. And as my company, Corcoran Global Living, always says: “Live who you are.”

So let’s have a little fun and see what the stars have to say about where you should settle:

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 20): Daring, spontaneous and full of energy, you’ll appreciate constantly developing Mission Bay. The neighborhood bustles with activity from the biotech and medical industries. And the adjacent waterfront offers a variety of activities. Giants/Warriors games and Chase Center concerts will be back in the north-so-distant future, and there are lots of restaurants in the area. Continue Reading

My Top Tips for a Successful Home Search

You’ve decided that it’s time to make a move and buy a home in San Francisco. Where do you begin with it all? I’ve been selling real estate in the city since 2002, and have represented many successful buyers. Here’s the advice I gave them when we first met:

Be completely preapproved for a loan. You’ll often be in a competitive offer situation, with buyers waiving contingencies to stand out. Make sure you’ve submitted all required documents to your lender, and consult with him or her to see what latitude you may have when it comes to, for example, waiving a loan or appraisal contingency. Continue Reading

Here’s Your Home Insurance Primer

When you’re buying a house in San Francisco, there’s a lot going on. One of the key escrow activities is nailing down your insurance policy and provider. So it’s important to know what you’ll be looking for in terms of coverage level and annual cost.

Here are the main items for comparison that should be standard in your home insurance coverage: Continue Reading

Give Yourself a Competitive Advantage with Up Front Loan Preapproval

One thing is for certain if you expect to write a competitive offer in the San Francisco market: Get fully preapproved for a loan before you start seeing properties.

Prospective buyers would traditionally chat with a lender rep, get an idea as to what they could afford based on basic financial details and then submit all the financials after getting into contract.

However, that won’t fly in San Francisco—or most of The Bay Area—these days. Limited inventory and high-buyer demand translate into routinely competitive, multiple-offer situations that require short (or no) loan contingency timeframes. Winning offers rarely happen for buyers who need a loan contingency timeframe that accommodates underwriting review of their financials after they go into contract. Continue Reading

Don’t Depend on List Price To Guide Your Home Search

The secret to a successful home search is simple: Know what you can afford.

Here’s an example of what can happen if you ignore that reality: You get preapproved for up to $1.5M and are interested in buying a single-family home in the city. Armed with your list of ten houses priced at around $1.5M, you unexpectedly see a home you love and offers are due in two days. That leads to a scramble for an agent who can help you throw together your first offer. The agent tells you the property will probably sell for well over list price, but you submit your offer at asking anyway. I mean, why not give it a shot, right? Later that night, the agent calls to let you know that the sellers received five offers and accepted the highest and best. Continue Reading

Be A Strategic Buyer in a Tight Inventory Market

It’s easy to put your home search on auto pilot, looking constantly at online search sites for the latest new listing. But if you’re seeking a single-family home in San Francisco, it will become quickly obvious that there’s a low inventory of houses—and you have to do more than just wait for new listings.

Home buyer tip: Don’t bypass existing listings that may be spending more time on the market than their owners would like. These homes could be opportunities for buyers to avoid overbidding and competitive offer situations. If a house has been on the market for 30 days or more, it means that seller will likely not be seeing crazy overbidding and multiple offers. And there may also be room to negotiate a lower price. Continue Reading

Time To Get Your Real Estate Goals Going in 2021

Happy New Year! I am thrilled to be welcoming 2021 after such a challenging 2020.

With a new year comes new goals. I’ve spent the last week planning my business and life goals, and have consulted with about a dozen clients and friends who are planning renovations or estate changes and have a lot of questions about where to start. You may also be cooking up some moves and wondering where to begin. Continue Reading

SF Board of Supervisors Bans Natural Gas in Future New Construction

The future isn’t bright for natural gas in future San Francisco new construction. If you’re dead set on having a gas range in your condo, now is the time to snap up a unit in a building powered by natural gas.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to ban natural gas in new construction buildings, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation that will affect more than 50,000 homes currently in the development pipeline, reports J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle. Continue Reading

Contact Eileen for Real Estate Help

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living

415.823.4656

eileen@insidesfre.com

DRE# 01352627

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